Whether you are a truck driver covering long stretches of road or an adventurer out on a cross country roadtrip, it is critical that you know how to safely drive long distances. The more distance you cover, the higher your risk is for an accident. Learn more about how to be safe when you have a long drive ahead of you.
How-to Safely Drive Long Distances: Safe Driving
Get Plenty of Rest
If you are really tired, it is not advisable for you to head out for a long drive. Make sure to get plenty of rest before leaving if you want to safely drive long distances. This also applies to stretches during the trip. If you start to feel tired, do not keep going. If you just need a short break to feel reenergized, pull over to a rest stop to take a break. However, if you are getting really tired, or it is getting late at night, go ahead and stop and find a place to stay for the night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. This number is really high, and could have been much lower had people just taken a break when they were tired.
If the stretch of road is especially boring or monotonous, you can easily get distracted. Stay off of cell phones or other electronics so that you can keep your mind on the road. Do not play around with the radio or get distracted while talking with the passengers in your car. Eating and applying makeup are other things that can cause distractions as well. On long stretches of road, your mind can drift off and wander. Make sure to stay focused on the road in order to safely drive long distances.
Keep Up with Car Maintenance
Make sure your vehicle is in good, working condition before heading out on a long trip. Bald tires can be hazardous, as they do not have good traction. Burnt out headlights or taillights fail to light the way or warn other cars if your actions. You will also want to check your windshield wipers, as worn-out wiper blades will not properly clear your windshield. Check all of your fluid levels including coolant, brake, automatic transmission or clutch, power steering, and windshield washer fluids. If your vehicle is in need of an oil change, or is close to needing one, go ahead and get it changed. You will want to inspect all of these things and replace anything that is wrong in order to safely drive long distances.